Monday, May 9, 2011
Sketchy Deal Behind the Sale of the Old River Road Bakery
Someone elses take on the Old River road bakery debacle.
He also has this:
Beat the Candidates (part I)
Even Lex Luthor Knew How to Make Money in Real Estate.
Wilkes-Barre Mayor Thomas M. Leighton
Education: King's College 1982
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Looks Like: (See above)
Dubious Wikipedia Entry Obviously Planted by Someone on the Payroll:
“...Leighton's policies have led to the 'brightest future Wilkes-Barre has seen since the' '50s”
Like his doppelganger - Lex Luthor in Superman II – Wilkes-Barre mayor Tom Leighton knows the value of land.
“People are no damn good, but they will always need land and they'll pay through the nose to get it!” -Lex Luthor to Miss Tessmacher.
Lex Leighton has deftly transferred the trench-warfare skills he learned in the family real estate business, to the loftier (and more lucrative) arena of political wheeling and dealing.
Leighton supporters like to trumpet his complex real estate transactions as being part of a grand plan to open up a can of gentrification whoop-ass in Wilkes-Barre's diminished downtown. The problem is, these noble deals are routinely dispatched through the usual good-old-boy networks and non-government organizations like the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce, CityVest or the C.E.O. (Council on Economic Opportunity.) Beyond the Wyoming Valley, a “chamber of commerce” evokes visions of organizing Christmas parades and keg parties for a membership of barbershop owners and life insurance agents. The Wilkes-Barre chamber operates more like a private developer with back-door access to public money - sans the pesky checks and balances that might limit an above-board, taxpayer funded entity.
Leighton has also signed off on well documented deals of dubious ethical parameters and little apparent benefit to anyone but political cronies and hockey players. City and federal funds earmarked for construction or demolition, usually end up in the pocket of somebody on Leighton's Christmas card list. A recent demolition job - expedited in the name of public safety - conveniently cleared the way for a proposed housing project. Of course, both projects were spearheaded by ad-hoc organizations attached to familiar names.
When a local woman started a petition to keep a neighborhood firehouse open, Leighton played a big part in a morally questionable, carpet-bombing campaign against her. That ugly episode cost Wilkes-Barre hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs and the likelihood of an eventual settlement in her favor will add a few zeros to the total. Keeping a firehouse of questionable utility operating would have been a bargain in retrospect.
Like his northern neighbor, Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty, Leighton has visions of glory that stretch beyond his hometown. Leighton has his eyes on the Pennsylvania State Senate seat of the departing, long-reigning king of sketchiness, Ray Musto. The biggest hurdles between Leighton and his Harrisburg ambitions are a reputation coated by a thick mucus of proximity to the endless Luzerne County scandals, and a dubious history of quasi-legal shenanigans – low-hanging fruit to potentional challengers.
Sketchiness Rating: 2.5 Stars
I'd give the dictator a higher Sketchiness Rating.
I couldn't find the 'wikipedia' entry. It may have been changed. It does mention these things,
"On June 9, 2005, Leighton unveiled his 'I believe...' campaign for Wilkes-Barre, which was intended to boost the city's spirits and rid residents of their cyncisim and negativity about the city. Many residents were, and still are, skeptical of the campaign, since it is being paid for with tax dollars."
"A renovation of the landmark Hotel Sterling is being pursued by CityVest, a nonprofit developer. In March 2006, CityVest purchased a property adjacent to the Hotel Sterling for $325,000, the City had a lien on the property, but the property owner got the cash, the City somehow transferred the lien to CityVest(and then forgave it), and the taxpayers were on the hook for $311,000."
And the SHORT List of his 'accomplishments';
1. Backroom deals (like the no bid contract to disgraced ex-judge Conahan's medic unit)
2. Trying to sell city property for 8 cents on the dollar to a campaign contributor
3. Lying to county officials to get tax forgiveness to a campaign contributor
4. The largely worthless camera system (Costing us well over $2,000,000)
5. Violated contracts (like Citywide Towing's contract) so he could give it to a campaign contributor (that cost us over $225,000)
6. VIOLATED CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS, TWICE !!! (Denise Carey & the Hammonds). That's going to cost us over $275,000.
7. The Threats (I've been on the receiving end of some, Why? Because I dare oppose him.)
Dan Emplit WBFD
AKA Don Quixote